The British government wants to try to get the exit agreement with the European Union on Friday in a third attempt over the parliamentary hurdles. Andrea Leadsom, who sets the agenda as “Leader of the House,” said in the House of Commons on Thursday: “The only way to ensure that we can leave the EU at the right time on May 22 is to withdraw on Friday to adopt.”
Prime Minister Theresa May’s submission to the government was “new” and was “substantially” different from the previous two, the speaker of the House John Bercow said on Thursday in Parliament of his decision to allow the vote. Bercow had previously rejected another vote on a same motion.
May this time does not want to vote on the deal as a package, but only on the withdrawal agreement. The political statement on future relations could be voted on at a later date. Disadvantage is that even with a consent of Parliament not yet the entire contract package would be in the bag and tray. For ratification, however, the UK’s EU exit law requires Parliament’s approval of both parts of the deal.
According to the lower house chair Andrea Leadsom, the parliament could agree with a consent on Friday the specifications of the EU summit last week. In this case, a postponement of the Brexit is scheduled for 22 May. Leadsom urged MEPs to approve the contract this time, “giving the people and the economy the security they need”.
London wants to prevent the vote on Friday that a shift of Brexit on 22 May and thus a participation in the European elections is necessary. By the end of this week, a deadline set by the EU, to which at least the Brexit Treaty in London will have to be approved, expires. If the agreement is lacking, a withdrawal without a contract or a very long postponement of Brexit threatens already on 12 April.
Several conservative and members of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party reiterated their continued opposition to May’s deal, citing the Northern Ireland’s “backstop” as a catch-up solution.
Meanwhile, the initiators of the “indicative votes” were preparing for a second round next Monday. In a first voting series on Wednesday evening, all eight alternatives to May’s deal had missed a majority. The models with the relatively largest approval – including remaining in the Customs Union and an “affirmative referendum” – will now be voted on once again in the lower house.